Nautic Africa has delivered a second littoral patrol vessel to Nigerian, where it will be used by a private company to ferry workers to oil facilities along the Nigerian coast.
OPS 204, the second vessel for Nigeria, was launched in July and departed for Nigeria on August 24, arriving in the country earlier this month.
According to Nautic Africa, the vessel features Level III+ ballistic protection, which provides full protection against AK-47 7.62mm copper jacket with lead core and steel pin rounds. Weapons mountings have been provided on the vessel.
The 24 metre long OPS 204 has been manufactured to the standards of Bureau Veritas ‘BV’ (which provides consulting in compliance with quality, health and safety, environmental protection standards and regulation, particularly in the shipping and construction industry). The vessel will be manned by four crew with capacity for an additional 8 berthed and 24 seated passengers.
The vessel is powered by twin CAT 32 engines and MJP water jets, giving a top speed of 27 knots at full load. Standard operating range is 600 nautical miles.
In 2009 KND Projects (as it was then called) signed a contract with a vessel operating company based in Nigeria to design and manufacture a small fleet of high speed ballistic protected aluminium vessels to transport crew safely to and from the oil rigs. The vessels will initially provide services to Shell Oil Company.
After a 5 month design phase and a nine month construction phase, KND Projects launched the first vessel, OPS 301, in February this year. OPS 301 is a 30 metre long aluminium high speed crew and patrol vessel.
OPS 301 has been designed to carry up to 24 seated passengers with accommodation for a 5 crew and 12 passengers. The vessel is powered by three Caterpillar C32 engines linked through to correspondingly powerful MJP Waterjets. The vessel has a top speed of 30 knots.
“OPS 301 is the first of its class,” said Kobus Potgieter, Head Architect at KND Naval Design. “We’ve definitely come up with a new concept and a new design. Another big advantage of this vessel is the fact that it’s a total multirole vessel – it could be used for patrolling purposes, it could be used for crew transfer…you can use it inshore, you can use it offshore and you can use it in rivers. It’s got a fairly shallow draft and with the jets it makes it very easy to go up rivers.”
OPS 301 the first aluminium vessel of its size to be built in Simon’s Town, Nautic Africa said. Aluminium is the current world-wide material of choice for high speed patrol vessels and other vessels up to 120 metres in length.
KND has worked closely with Armscor who manage the facilities within the dockyard locality to try to re-generate skills and employment within the area. Each vessel is expected to generate around R50 million in revenue and employ the services of 300 employees and experts in various fields.
“The relationship with Armscor has run smoothly and Nautic Africa / KND Projects hopes to work more closely with the role players within the dockyard to formulate ways to further enhance facilities and training to get Simon’s Town back to the engineering centre of excellence it once was,” Nautic Africa said.